BREAST screening involves a mammogram x-ray of the breasts, which can detect early signs of cancer before it can be seen or felt.
Screening has been proven to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer, as the disease is very treatable if detected early. Breastcheck (www.breastcheck.ie), the National Breast Screening Programme, offers free mammograms to women aged 50-64.
The programme invites eligible women, on an area by area basis, for free screening every two years. You can register for Breastcheck by calling freephone 1800 45 45 55. Breast pain: A breast pain factsheet (www.cancer.ie/sites/default/file s/contentattachments/ heet_v4_1.pdf#overlay-context= gives information on breast pain in women. It explains the different types and causes of breast pain and how it can be diagnosed and treated. It should answer some questions and concerns you may have.
Remember that breast pain alone is rarely a symptom of breast cancer.
For more information, call the National Cancer Helpline on freefone 1800 200 700 and speak to a specialist nurse in confidence.
Early diagnosis is a key to surviving breast cancer.
More than 1,700 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Ireland each year.
Irish women have a one-in-12 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
74 per cent of Irish women with breast cancer What to do if you find something? If you do notice any change in your breasts, see your GP as soon as possible. Remember that most breast changes are not cancer and are harmless.
When your GP examines your breasts she or he may be able to reassure you that there is nothing to worry about.
If the change could be connected discovered the lump themselves.
Only about five to ten per cent of breast cancers are believed to have a family link.
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Approximately, 80 per cent of breast cancers occur in women over 50 years.
Around 14 men develop breast cancer in Ireland each year. with your hormones, your GP may ask you to come back at a different stage in your menstrual cycle.
Alternatively, you may be sent to a breast clinic for a more detailed examination.
Don't worry that you may be making an unnecessary fuss and remember that nine out of ten breast lumps are harmless. Triple assessment Your GP will refer you to a specialist breast clinic in a Hospital (please see the specialist breast units (www.cancer.ie/ cancer-information/breast-cancer/ for the list in Ireland) if he has any concern about your symptoms. For example if you have a lump in your breast.
At the Hospital, you may have triple assessment. This involves doing tests to help diagnose your complaint.
Triple assessment is the name for this; it uses three ways used to assess your breasts. It starts with the doctor taking a medical history or list of any health problems you have had in the past and then examining your breasts and underarms.
Next you may be sent on to the X-ray department for the next step which may be a mammogram (x-ray of the breast) or an ultrasound scan or both and finally a biopsy which may be a fine needle test or core biopsy.
If you do not have a lump you may not need full triple assessment.